How To Have Your Chocolate And Eat It

I know it’s been a little while…. I’ve finally finished the essay I’ve been writing for the degree and now, Easter is virtually upon us!

How will you be spending Easter? I do hope that you’ll be making some time for yourself, relaxing and taking a well-deserved break, and doing at least one thing that will have you feeling really good.

Finding ways to relax and de-stress is super-key for us, especially at the age we’re at, because our bodies need that down time to heal and re-build.

But wait! Are all those Easter bunnies and Easter eggs bouncing around more than enough to jolt you into a place of guilt at the mere thought of eating chocolate?

Never fear. It really is possible to have your chocolate and eat it – by choosing the right chocolate to have.

Chocolate is potentially good for us. Dark chocolate (70% and over) is rich in flavonoids and has anti-oxidant properties (read “The Power of Antioxidants For A Younger You” here) which can be beneficial for our health. If you love dark chocolate, go for it – up to 70g a day is fine, although you’re likely to feel satisfied with half that amount. But if you’re anything like I was when I was still hooked on sugar, dark chocolate just didn’t hit the spot, because it didn’t taste sweet enough or creamy enough. But, I got you covered.

Here’s a recipe that I came across at Elana’s Pantry (she has some fabulous recipes). Not only is it tasty and delicious enough for serving even when you’re having friends or family around for lunch, it’s also nourishing to body, heart, mind and soul.. It has a chocolatey rich taste that satisfies, and the ingredients are healthy too, so you can do away with any potentially guilty thoughts.

There is still sugar in this recipe – normal sugar (sucrose) that’s already in the chocolate and the added sweetener is xylitol.

Xylitol is a wood sugar that has the same level of sweetness as sucrose but doesn’t raise insulin levels in the same way. This means that you don’t have the crash that can come after eating foods that cause your blood sugar levels to spike, compelling you to crave for even more sugar afterwards. Make sure when you are buying xylitol, that it is made 100% from birch. There is a version made from corn which isn’t recommended, so please watch out for that. Also, a small number of people don’t digest xylitol well, and if taken in large amounts, it can cause some digestive upset. For me, when I was weaning myself off my sugar addiction, this was a good way to get some sweet satisfaction – at that time, I used 100% dark chocolate so the only sweetener was the added xylitol. (Caution. Dogs can’t process xylitol at all, so please make sure you don’t let them have any).

Choose the best chocolate available, ideally organic, and there’ll be no need to try and deprive yourself of chocolate indulgence this Easter.

Easy Chocolate Dessert (adapted from Elana’s Pantry)

Makes 6 servings

• 100g 85% dark chocolate, broken into small chunks
• 1 x 400ml can coconut milk – don’t shake the can up before opening
• ¼ cup xylitol
• 1 tablespoon coconut oil

(1) Place chocolate chunks with the coconut oil into a pot and place over low heat
(2) Allow the chocolate to melt, stirring all the time
(3) Slowly add the coconut milk, mixing the thick creamy part first (this stops the chocolate from potentially separating)
(4) Add the xylitol and stir until melted
(5) Pour into serving glasses or ramekins and refrigerate overnight
(6) Serve

Have a wonderful time.